Ode to the Cassette Kahani.

I remember those hours, when the grown-ups took their afternoon naps before the shaam ki chai, when all the kids would congregate near the small silver cassette player (a much coveted item in those days of 1985) and listen to the stories. Of magic dragons and shehzadas galore. Of the land far far away and the baadshah who ruled supreme. I can still hear the witch cackling away or the jinn granting wishes. The sound of the flying carpet. And then rushing to the kitchen to get a snack when the song played in the middle of the story (pausing was not allowed).

It was our special afternoon thing to do, crouching on the floor with our faces propped up in our hands, keeping the volume low, waiting in anticipation for the swell of music which meant something exciting was about to happen and then finally, the good-will-prevail-end of the story. Then of course, the reenactments would start. Roles woud be allotted. Who was the prince? Who would be the witch? Plots would get resolved and voices would start emerging.

Needless to say, I was always the witch. And I can still do that voice damn well.

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37 thoughts on “Ode to the Cassette Kahani.

  1. Oh! good old days.

    One of my favourite cassette khanies was Jack and the bean stalk.

    I still remember how I used to mimic voices of some of the characters, especially those which were played by Qazi wajid, ridiculously funny.

    And there was a lady who played fox in one of the stories, I loved the pitch of her voice.

    Ahhh, those days were awesome.

    Like to share Don Henley’s song here,

    Remember when the days were long
    And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
    Didnt have a care in the world
    With mommy and daddy standing by
    When happily ever after fails
    And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales.

    1. My god you brought back my oldy goldy dayz… i still have all the numbers of cassette kahanis… my fav was Sindbad voyages… aaahhhh still remember all the beautiful voice over artists… Qazi Wajid,Zeenat Yasmeen…Shehwar RAhim… Mushtaq Ahmed….Shamshad Ali….Talat Iqbal… Farooq Ahmed… really miss you all…

  2. farhan- did the fairy tales spoil us? haan maybe you are right. i expect nothing but a happily ever after sometimes 🙂

    cocaine youre on! ill do the witch voice for you- you know m k and i used to record our own version also complete with songs hehe.

  3. I remember when on TV ad yelling “Asli Cassette kahani! Fareed Ahmad ki Cassette Kahani”. What a wonderful days those were. My favourite one was “Hussan Bano aur Haiwaan”, Marvelous. 80’s are like beautiful dreams.

  4. I remember when on TV ad shouting “Asli Cassette kahani! Fareed Ahmad ki Cassette Kahani”. What a wonderful days those were. My favourite one was “Hussan Bano aur Haiwaan”, Marvelous. 80’s are like beautiful dreams.

    I wanted to add that we used to liv in Nazimabad No.4 near Khairul Amal Masjid then we moved to North Nazimabad Block D in 1982.

    Now I have two kids. I tell those kahanis to my daughter often at bedtime. she liked podna podni very much and wanted to listen every nitht.

  5. AOA

    Its amazing… the memories from the good old times… 80s, what a decade! Cassette Kahanis, Afternoon Naps and shaam ki chai as mentioned above… peaceful Islamabad… and most of all the atmosphere where things seema lot simple… where the young respected the elderly, where the gap between the generations was not that wide… now when i look at the new Islamabad and the new generation… i do not feel that security anymore… the attitude to help our fellow brothers and sisters in faith… its a time where we are crossing all boundries in the name of moderation.. i fear for the new generation and hope that the generation X would carry forward the best of what we had learned fromour previous generation and salvage our way of life… i really dont know where i’m going with this… i guess i am too attached with the 80s… keep in touch guys, my email is haiderjawaid@hotmail.com

  6. hey i jus found out cassette kahani comes on fm 105 on sundays at around 1pm … and i get excited and jumpy whenever i still listen to it…hehe…

  7. hey guys i want to download cassette kahanis to my laptop so my kids can also listen to the stories i grew up listening… any one know how????

  8. For those who remember the Cassette Kahani series.The background music used mostly on the Arabian Nights Tales is taken from the 1959 album Music for an Arabian Night by Ron Goodwin.
    Noticeable Tracks that were used are:

    01 – windows of the east
    02 – bazaar
    07 – dancing eyes (My Very Favourite Track)
    08 – come back to me
    09 – barefoot girl
    11 – desert hero

    You can get the album from

    http://subway-detour.blogspot.com/2009/07/ron-goodwin-music-for-arabian-night.html

  9. AOA All.

    I have coverted all Kassetee Kahanis from # 1 till # 15 (Farid Ahmad’s) to mp3, anyone needs, can contact me. Take care.

    1. Dear Ahmad,

      As salaamualaikum.

      I’ve been searching for the cassette kahani series in MP3 format nd was not able to get them! I’d really appreciate if u can help me acquire it! its my neices’ birthday n this wud be a beautiful surprise for both of them! Shukriya… Allah Haafiz

    2. AOA,
      Ammad kinsly send me those all mp3 files as i have to share my childhood with my daughter.

      Awated for your quick responce.

    3. Hi

      Kindly send me Farid Ahmad’s Cassette Kahanis as I need to introduce these to my kids. I am going tomorrow on a 10 hour commute across the country and would like my kids to listen to these Kahani’s on teh way.

  10. I still remember those days when i used to enjoy fareed Ahmed ki cassette kahani with my brother Shariq,those were wonderful days,still want to listen now.

  11. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and
    entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for something relating to this.

  12. i wish to pursue my thesis on this project i.e. cassette kahani. if anyone of you in lahore have all complete volumes, please contact me. thanks!

  13. I wish that I would have a time machine by which I can go back to those wonderful days in the early 1980s. If anyone can help me to provide all the volumes, please email me at mujeebahmed6@hotmail.com . I will be grateful, because my daughter also love to listen those kahanis.

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